When I was first injured thirteen years ago, everything in my life got so flipped upside down and tossed aside and thrown against the wall. If there was a tornado gnashing in my head, there was a hurricane raging through the rest of my version of normal.
There was no money coming in. I couldn’t pay my bills and I needed the people who wanted to take back my house and turn off my utilities to understand that it wasn’t my fault the insurance companies were fighting. It wasn’t my fault that no money came for seven months. It wasn’t my fault someone ran a red light going 50 mph. They didn’t care.
I spent six hopeful weeks with a balance specialist who, I was told, was “the best around.” I never even saw him except for a brief hello that first day and an exit interview I will never forget. He told me my therapy was a complete success. I told him it was not. I pointed out that I had not improved at all in my ability to balance. He told me he “simply cannot put that type of thing” in my report. When I asked him where do I go from here, he said, “You’re crippled. Get used to it.” (Yes, he did say that!) He then clap-closed my file and left the room. Left me in tears. I was incredulous. He didn’t care.
When I lost my balance and fell on some ice in front of a group of high school kids, they looked and laughed and kept on walking, even as it was apparent I could not get myself up from the ice. They didn’t care.
I was starting to think, my God! This incredible, horrific, life-changing thing has happened to me and (what the hell is wrong with you people!?!) nobody cared…
And then I found out how wonderfully, lovingly, generously and humorously nobody cared.
Because, after some of the friends left and some of the fringe people in my life fell away, those who stayed and those who arrived were glaring, fabulous reminders of the glorious fact that no, nobody cared.
When my legs go out on me, my friends and my family each grab an arm and just about drag me to wherever we are headed. They don’t care.
And when I get stuck on a word, they jump in and start calling out possible words I’m trying to say like it’s a game show and they’re telling me, “stop talking your nonsense” through fits of laughter and we’re amazed when “warm noodles” comes out as “woodles” and when “look at the big black dog” comes out as “blig blog blig blog blig blog!” and we’re hysterically laughing. They don’t care.
When I have to lay down or I have to cut short our events, when I “stop recording” as I like to call my cognitive ability that fades late in the day, when I can’t make a safe decision or get myself back to my hotel room or my house, they gather me up and arrange our plans and make my decisions and keep me safe and deliver me wherever I can’t get to on my own.
Because they don’t care.
I have the most incredible group of people in my life. Early in my recovery I was taunted, scarred and devastated by people who seemingly didn’t care. And now I am blessed, warmed and so utterly, ridiculously appreciative for those who I am absolutely certain don’t care.
I hope you all have lives full of people who don’t care. I hope you all find people to pull close and celebrate. Those people to laugh and cry and share and struggle with. Giggle with till there are tears in your eyes.
To be real with. To be the flawed, failing, sometimes flailing people we all are. Grab on and hold tight and share this crazy ride of life. Once you find yourself surrounded and loved by people who don’t care how you walk or talk or remember or forget or stumble or mumble or bumble through life’s folly, you are the rich of the rich. It’s like eating chocolate pudding in a field of four leaf clovers. With bunnies. 🙂